The French are an intriguing breed, I think we'd all agree on that. Between their "outrageous accents", their contributions to fried potatoes, and the paradox between being considered a romantic people while also a hairy people (at least the women) they have always been able to pique the curiosity of us "normal" Americans.
Though there's much to ponder about their ways, there's one thing that they do, or rather say, that has always been of especial interest to me.
Instead of saying "I miss you" like English-speaking people, they say "Je vous manque" or as I was taught, "You are missing to me." I've always really liked that. A lot. It just seems so much more personal, so much more invested, so much more painful to say to someone "YOU are missing to ME," or in the more famous words "you complete me."
Of course, I have to say I'm gaining a much clearer understanding of what that means this summer as I'm separated from my fiance for the 2 1/2 months leading up to our wedding. He is missing to me. HE is missing to ME. He completes me.
As I think about what it means for me to actually feel like part of me is missing when I'm not with him, I can't help but come back to the simple but powerful analogy for marriage: one. One flesh. One person. One head and one body making one entity. If either part is missing, "je vous manque" the other says.
We weren't designed to be headless horsemen. We were each given one head and one body, and we understand what would happen if either was separated from its counterpart. (At this point, I could regale you with the story of the time my family killed our own Thanksgiving turkey, but I'll spare you the gory, albeit wildly entertaining, details.) I think everyone grasps that for a head to be separated from a body is to wreak havoc on that person because the two are no longer meant to be two, they're one.
Just like the body is used as a picture for marriage, marriage is used as a picture for something greater: Christ and His Bride.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.
We are members of His body: one head and one body making one entity. For the time being, those two parts are separated, and they can only say to each other, "Je vous manque."
Because I so desperately want to be with Nathan, his promises of "soon, very soon," are always welcomed with the response of "I'm ready whenever." I think I'm beginning to see why the Bride's response to Christ's promise of "soon, very soon" is so similarly welcomed. "Come, Lord Jesus."
Je vous manque.